Interview Jean-Thomas Olano: When Real-Estate becomes a Work of Art
Or when pleasure and luxury property investment revolve around an approach of excellence.
How has prestigious mountain real estate become a safe-haven investment?
Our customers have a limited number of investment options. With financial assets investments presenting high volatility on one side, profitable but risky. And on the other hand, investment pleasure, that which is linked to craftsmanship, whether it is a bottle of wine, a work of art, an automobile or an exceptional watch. Since the beginning of the 21st century, performance has been known in a Grand Cru Bordeaux or Burgundy wine, an Italian sports car, or a complex Swiss watch. So many assets that combine investment and pleasure. This is the niche on which we position Rising Stone, with exclusive, rare, hand-craft products, without any concession in their design or their realization. What we propose to investors is to add yield, liquidity, non-volatility and an appreciation similar to that of a work of art. Very high-end mountain real-estate forms a naturally privileged investment class, the available situations being always rarer with administrative authorizations that are ever more difficult to obtain. The demand is growing on the part of investors with significant liquidity, so there is no reason why the trend be reversed.
Why do you speak of artwork when characterizing Rising Stone?
Investing with Rising Stone amounts to investing in a work with medium and long-term visibility, in a world that has become short-termist.
The word “artwork” is interesting in more than one way, in particular because it represents both the work necessary for the creation and the fruit of this creation. Concerning real-estate, therefore construction, the term is central, if only in the duo project conception and project implementation. When working as Rising Stone works, adding an artisanal and even artistic know-how to the construction process, the obtained result becomes a work of art. We exceed the classic real-estate offering, to propose something different to customers who share our sensitivity and desire for excellence.
How do you differentiate from existing offers, in a market with a large array of actors?
We operate inversely of the profession standards. A developer usually adapts its production costs according to the market price, to which they add margins, to then determine a quality and a construction concept. We proceed differently, by looking for the best situations and then by conducting our market and feasibility studies, far from any idea of densification. We then calibrate our construction costs and the final sale price, which we ensure to remain competitive. Our products may be expensive but they do not cost too much, given their intrinsic quality. Our organization is also fundamentally different from what usually exists. We have indeed integrated all the skills and internalized the technical part with architects and interior designers working exclusively for RISING STONE.
How do you define the DNA of Rising Stone?
All Rising Stone employees are like myself, permanently dissatisfied. Our goal is to do better during each project, avoiding default choices. We do not compromise on anything and evolve in absolute transparency with regard to our clients, justifying our choices and the value of each element, each hour of work.
And you, what motivates you on a daily basis?
What pushes me is to start from a blank sheet, and five years later, to be invited by my client for a drink on his terrace, with his family and friends. This is the tangible part, in the long term, with the key to fascinating encounters. I feel lucky to make beautiful things and make others happy while being happy myself ...